HJK Helsinki were given a tough opening game as the UEFA Women's Cup first qualifying round began on Tuesday, but there were ominous results from the champions of Russia, France and Hungary.
Pichon on target
The Finnish title-holders have reached the semi-finals and last eight in their previous entries and made a winning start in Group A4 - though only two late goals saw them past Switzerland's FFC Zuchwil 05. Poland's KS AZS Wrocław overcame Macedonian pool hosts ZFK Shkiponjat 4-1 with a Patrycja Pozerska hat-trick. FCF Juvisy are hoping to become the second consecutive French semi-finalist and have already impressed, Marinette Pichon scoring twice in a 6-0 defeat of Faroese champions Klaksvíkar Ítrottarfelag in Group A2, where their next opponents RCD Espanyol beat home team Hibernian LFC of Scotland 4-1.
Among other notable results, Russian side WFC Rossiyanka claimed a 5-2 Group A7 victory against Alma KTZH, who have got past this stage in the last two years. ZFK Mašinac-Classic Niš of Serbia, who have never failed to progress to the last 16, came from behind to oust Estonia's FC Pärnu in Group A6, while former quarter-finalists Gömrükçü Baku lost 7-1 in Group A9 to 1. FC Femina Budapest, for whom Anett Nagy scored three. But the biggest win was Saetum's against Croatia's ŽNK Maksimir in Group A1 as the Dutch outfit prevailed by 7-0; Lisanne Vermeulen struck a first-half hat-trick.
Second round target
All nine group winners will advance to join the seven seeds, including holders 1. FFC Frankfurt, in next month's second qualifying round. The next set of games is on Thursday, and the sections conclude at the weekend.
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